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Switzerland / Italy - 2 Week Itinerary Advice?

Hey all,

I'm new to the forums. Wife and I are taking our 1st trip to Europe this summer; thinking 16 days in Switzerland/Italy. Looking for some general itinerary advice. Tentative:

  1. Geneva: Day 1 (Fly In)
  2. Montreux/Chatteau D'Chillon: Day 2
  3. Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen Valley: Days 3-5
  4. Travel to Venice: Day 6
  5. Venice: Days 6-7
  6. Cinque Terre: Days 8-10
  7. Florence: Day 11-12
  8. Rome: Day 13-15
  9. Rome: Day 16 (Fly Out)

Rough map of our route:
http://imgur.com/sQzn8pB

Still haven't worked out exact durations/inter-city travel. Would appreciate any feedback from seasoned travelers. Cheers!

Posted by
7205 posts

You mean, for example to arrive in Venice on day 6 and depart Venice on day 7? That's a terrible decision. Any place where you're only staying 1 night is a complete waste of your time and resources. Even spending 2 nights is highly questionable because 2 nights only gives you 1 full day to see and experience the wonders of any particular destination. A more reasonable itinerary would be:

1) Arrive in Geneva and train directly to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Spend 3 nights.
2) Train to Venice and spend at least 3 nights
3) Train to Florence and spend 2 or 3 nights
4) Cinque Terre for 2 or 3 nights
5) Train to Rome and spend the rest of your time there

I would actually omit the Cinque Terre and add time to Lauterbrunnen and either Rome or Venice

Posted by
11286 posts

I agree with the above posts. And with the advice you've gotten on your other thread - your trip will be better if you drop at least one destination, and spread that time around your other destinations, so you're not moving around so much. I know that, especially for a first trip, the temptation to want to "see it all" is great. But do resist - or you'll be sorry once you're there. The oft-repeated mantras really are true:

1) Two nights in a place equals only one full day

2) You lose at least a half day changing locations, even if they're close together.

Definitely, if you do want to see the Berner Oberland, stay right there, in Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Wengen, or Mürren. Do not stay in Interlaken, which is near but not in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Of course, if you must have an Asian restaurant, a huge supermarket, or large tour groups as part of your Alps experience, stay in Interlaken.

As posted on the other thread, both Geneva Airport and Zurich Airport have train stations right inside, so you do not need to stay in those cities for your first day, but can take a train upon arrival right from the airport to somewhere else.

To find train travel times and routes, use the Bahn website http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en, following Rick's tutorial: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/online-schedules

Posted by
7205 posts

One of the best Asian Food Restaurants I've ever been to is right in little Murren. look for Tham's next time you're there and expect a wonderful meal. And Tham is SO very nice.

Posted by
3551 posts

I would train it straight from Gva airport to lauterbrunnen valley. This area is gorgeous and one should spend maximum time there staying in murren my favorite. Montreux and chateau chrillion are nice but and xtra day in lauterbriunnen is a plusx2. Skip Interlaken. U are spending a lot of time traveling, could u poss. Skip cinque terra this trip and add the xtra time for your other italian cities . You will not regret it.
I have been going to italy for a very long time and still love returning to Florence, Venice and rome.
Gd luck deciding between so many wonderful destinations.

Posted by
11286 posts

Tim is right; I saw that restaurant, but did not eat there. Next time!

What I'm remembering from Interlaken is the many Asian restaurants, including one advertising "Paksitani" food (which made me think of Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil).

I wasn't as taken with the Chateau de Chillon as others seem to be. I liked Montreux, but agree that it can't compete with the Berner Oberland. I stayed in Mürren and loved it.